The man whose body was found in Lake Cumberland over the weekend likely died as a result of injuries suffered during a fall, according to an examiner’s findings.
Pulaski County Coroner Chuck Godbey said that he’s received preliminary reports from the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort on Justin Shelton, 32, of Burnside, who was found deceased in the lake on Sunday.
Godbey said that the examiner, Dr. Meredith Frame, found that the victim had “many internal injuries,” but “no defensive wounds and very little water in his lungs.”
As such, the examining doctor “is thinking he fell and had massive internal injuries from the fall,” said Godbey. “Which is what we thought, but there are so many variables it could have been.”
A preliminary report means that Godbey has been told that information but not received it officially in documentation as of yet.
Lt. Brett Whitaker of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday that his agency has been “just talking to neighbors and witnesses, trying to determine who last saw (Shelton) and last talked to him.”
Whitaker said that Shelton had reportedly last been seen on Saturday evening.
“Everything points to a horrible accident,” he said.
Around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, a fisherman discovered a body floating on the surface of the water, according to Keith Price, assistant chief of both the Parkers Mill Fire Department and the Somerset-Pulaski County Rescue Squad.
The body was discovered near a cliffside, between the Woodson Bend and Garland Bend areas on the lake.
Price noted that Shelton was a frequent inhabitant of the Garland Bend area, “one of these that was all around Garland Bend at different addresses. He walked all the time.”
Before receiving the report from the medical examiner’s office, Godbey couldn’t be sure if the victim had drowned, died as a result of the fall, or died before descending to the water.